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The Shelf Life String Band is like a runaway train in complete control. Their mix of originals, traditionals and covers makes for a high-energy musical journey that is entirely unique in the growing world of American Roots Music. The Shelf Life String Band had a humble beginning in 2007 as a singer/songwriter guitar duo featuring Derek Dysart and Joe Dep. “The Pittsburgh music scene was lacking in local acoustic string music,” remembers Joe, “and Derek and I started performing as the Shelf Life to revive string music in the city.” The duo quickly became a trio, adding mandolinist Andy Boehm, and the project evolved to incorporate more of a bluegrass flavor. To accomplish this change, Joe modified his playing, making the switch from six-stringer to the five-string banjo. The trio worked for several years to refine a heady blend of original and traditional material, watching a handful of other musicians join and divorce the project. Unfazed as these musicians came and went, the core Shelf Life continued to pursue gigs at festivals, open mics and parties to get their music out to the masses. It was a successful endeavor.


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